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    SP14 Custom Case

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    mcb

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2014-03-18

    SP14 Custom Case

    Post by mcb on Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:01 pm

    I have put together a SP14 using a pre-built board from Roy.

    My build is probably one of the simplest implementations of this pre-amp that exists and it is doing exactly what I wanted.

    The time has come for me to replace my highly customised high end case (don't get to envious please What a Face ), with something slightly more permanent (and maybe even better looking Very Happy ).

    As per my current case, I am looking to semi-expose the valves (tubes), and I am looking for any feedback on the size cut-outs others have used for the valve openings.  I used 38mm dia (just under 1 1/2 inches in that strange measurement system), but am thinking that these may be better being a bit bigger, to aid air flow / heat dissipation, particularly for the rectifier.  

    A couple dodgy photo's are attached.




    MontanaWay

    Posts : 767
    Join date : 2014-02-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Cameron, Montana

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by MontanaWay on Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:16 am

    have a look at these Hammond walnut chassis', http://www.hammondmfg.com/HWCHAS.htm I am using one of those for my SP9 built, and I designed my own top and rear plates using Front Panel Express' design program, free to download and very good to use as well as their manufacturing services, look here http://www.frontpanelexpress.com

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1287
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by sKiZo on Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:12 am

    Maybe borrow some ideas from Pigface ... beautiful work.

    http://dynacotubeaudio.forumotion.com/t1983-my-new-sp14-build

    But ... be aware that he had issues with wood cracking, more than likely from heat. Final solution was to route out the top for a brass plate.

    I went metal from the git go on my ST120, and added 5mm to the hole diameter. A 12AU7 measures out at 20mm, so figure 25mm for the hole. You'll also want to remember that the more tube that's below the surface, the more heat you'll have trapped under the plate. Might want to adjust the hole size accordingly.



    Plenty of clearance for metal ...

    mcb

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2014-03-18

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by mcb on Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:45 am

    Thanks for the links, MontanaWay and sKiZo

    I omitted to include in my initial post, that I was looking at using a metal or aluminium case. The nice dac case on the side of my photo was build by someone else and my timber case is a fine example of my best handy work, hence I will be getting a case made up for me.

    I have not found the frontpanelexpress site before, so I will need to investigate them a bit more.

    MontanaWay

    Posts : 767
    Join date : 2014-02-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Cameron, Montana

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by MontanaWay on Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:55 am

    mcb wrote:Thanks for the links, MontanaWay and sKiZo

    I omitted to include in my initial post, that I was looking at using a metal or aluminium case.  The nice dac case on the side of my photo was build by someone else and my timber case is a fine example of my best handy work, hence I will be getting a case made up for me.

    I have not found the frontpanelexpress site before, so I will need to investigate them a bit more.

    I am using Front Panel Express for my SP9 as well as Blonder-Tongue projects, I've also made a custom face plate and driver tube cover for my ST70.
    I think they are very good, prices are reasonable, endless design ideas, you can even design panel/face plate on AutoCad and import into the Front Panel Express program to finish the design off, pretty cool stuff!

    Captain Coconut

    Posts : 209
    Join date : 2009-10-13
    Age : 64
    Location : Great White North

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by Captain Coconut on Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:16 pm

    MontanaWay wrote:have a look at these Hammond walnut chassis', http://www.hammondmfg.com/HWCHAS.htm   I am using one of those for my SP9 built, and I designed my own top and rear plates using Front Panel Express' design program, free to download and very good to use as well as their manufacturing services, look here http://www.frontpanelexpress.com

    I just picked up this chassis from the Hammond warehouse. I'm going to use it for a ST-35 build in the future.

    MontanaWay

    Posts : 767
    Join date : 2014-02-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Cameron, Montana

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by MontanaWay on Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:58 pm

    Captain Coconut wrote:
    MontanaWay wrote:have a look at these Hammond walnut chassis', http://www.hammondmfg.com/HWCHAS.htm   I am using one of those for my SP9 built, and I designed my own top and rear plates using Front Panel Express' design program, free to download and very good to use as well as their manufacturing services, look here http://www.frontpanelexpress.com

    I just picked up this chassis from the Hammond warehouse. I'm going to use it for a ST-35 build in the future.

    my two units are on backorder, should be here mid next week, probably about the same time I get my plates from Front Panel Express

    denny9167

    Posts : 152
    Join date : 2011-05-09
    Age : 49
    Location : Texas

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by denny9167 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:02 pm

    Hammond chassis' are really the way to go for any build. I'm currently working on a preamp, using a 4 x 17 x 10, and will use FPE for a front and rear panel, and a piece of perforated steel for the top cover, to accommodate for ventilation. I've cut sections out of the back of the Hammond to allow for the RCA connections and AC input. And drilled holes in front for switch ,indicator and pots. Will post some picks when I have time.

    MontanaWay

    Posts : 767
    Join date : 2014-02-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Cameron, Montana

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by MontanaWay on Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:09 pm

    denny9167 wrote:Hammond chassis' are really the way to go for any build. I'm currently working on a preamp, using a 4 x 17 x 10, and will use FPE for a front and rear panel, and a piece of perforated steel for the top cover, to accommodate for ventilation. I've cut sections out of the back of the Hammond to allow for the RCA connections and AC input. And drilled holes in front for switch ,indicator and pots. Will post some picks when I have time.

    yes, thats what I like about the Hammond too, although I have yet to see them in the flesh.
    With my SP9 build, I've gone somewhat retro looking, in that all my controls are on the top, together with the tubes & transformer. I have gone for the bronze look, even got old style dark brown Fender knobs, Fender style switches and got a load of brass machine screws as well. I will need to cut out part of the rear wooden box to accommodate the plate with the inputs etc. The front will only have the indicator light and a bronze name plate :-)
    Once I have it all, will post photo's as well.

    denny9167

    Posts : 152
    Join date : 2011-05-09
    Age : 49
    Location : Texas

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by denny9167 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:41 pm

    MontanaWay wrote:
    denny9167 wrote:Hammond chassis' are really the way to go for any build. I'm currently working on a preamp, using a 4 x 17 x 10, and will use FPE for a front and rear panel, and a piece of perforated steel for the top cover, to accommodate for ventilation. I've cut sections out of the back of the Hammond to allow for the RCA connections and AC input. And drilled holes in front for switch ,indicator and pots. Will post some picks when I have time.

    yes, thats what I like about the Hammond too, although I have yet to see them in the flesh.
    With my SP9 build, I've gone somewhat retro looking, in that all my controls are on the top, together with the tubes & transformer. I have gone for the bronze look, even got old style dark brown Fender knobs, Fender style switches and got a load of brass machine screws as well. I will need to cut out part of the rear wooden box to accommodate the plate with the inputs etc. The front will only have the indicator light and a bronze name plate :-)
    Once I have it all, will post photo's as well.

    It's tough trying to get that vintage look, trying to find the right knobs, color scheme, etc. I'm trying to get away from the mundane round knobs, but nothing really fancy. I think I've settled on a knob made by Eagle Plastics. It's a milled aluminum knob that has a really classic look to it. The front panel will have holes that are slightly larger than the knobs so you can see the black from the Hammond, and a cut out for the switch and LED indicator. I'll be incorporating some wood accents on the front panel as well. The panels will be in on Monday, I'm anxious to see how it comes together.

    Tube Nube

    Posts : 603
    Join date : 2008-12-06
    Age : 53
    Location : Calgary, AB

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by Tube Nube on Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:07 pm

    I,suggest you pull that "pre-amp" drawer out of your desk and send it to SkIZO for the treatment. "Breadboarding it" is functional, but it just seems to sound better in a more dignified enclosure.

    Seriously, congrats on acquiring a great piece of gear. Enjoy it because it truly is great. (Even if ugly). ;-)

    gener8r

    Posts : 56
    Join date : 2012-04-28

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by gener8r on Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:03 pm

    @mcb:


    What make are those transformers? Thanks.

    mcb

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2014-03-18

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by mcb on Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:33 am

    They are custom made R0040 R-cores from VT4C in Hong Kong. They were not cheap and I seriously doubt that they warrant the premium over the std Antecs. The reason I went this way was because I was getting some other gear from VT4C and I was originally planning on getting a smaller sized R-Cores. With the freight for the Antecs (US to Aus) being as much as the transformers, it was initially not going to cost much more to get the R-Cores and I also got the advantage of having them built with both 230 and 240 v input voltages (Theoretically our voltage is 230 but reality is more like 240-245).

    MontanaWay

    Posts : 767
    Join date : 2014-02-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Cameron, Montana

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by MontanaWay on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:34 am

    mcb wrote:They are custom made R0040 R-cores from VT4C in Hong Kong.  They were not cheap and I seriously doubt that they warrant the premium over the std Antecs.  The reason I went this way was because I was getting some other gear from VT4C and I was originally planning on getting a smaller sized R-Cores.  With the freight for the Antecs (US to Aus) being as much as the transformers, it was initially not going to cost much more to get the R-Cores and I also got the advantage of having them built with both 230 and 240 v input voltages (Theoretically our voltage is 230 but reality is more like 240-245).  

    what part of Oz you're from?, I lived in Melbourne for 35 years, throw in 5 years of that in Brisbane in the 80's. Now permanently live here in MT.

    mcb

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2014-03-18

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by mcb on Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:48 pm

    MontanaWay wrote:
    what part of Oz you're from?, I lived in Melbourne for 35 years, throw in 5 years of that in Brisbane in the 80's. Now permanently live here in MT.

    I have the good fortune to live in Perth (WA, not Tas)

    Not being too flash on US geography, I had to resort to google.  Cant help notice that there is just a little contrast between Cameron Montana and Melbourne (size) and Brisbane (size to a lesser extent, and also climate).  I am guessing it gets a little cool during your winters, whereas I don't think Brisbane residence have any concept of cool weather.

    MontanaWay

    Posts : 767
    Join date : 2014-02-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Cameron, Montana

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by MontanaWay on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:18 pm

    I have been to Perth on business many a times, I really do like it.
    Well, apart from tubes, my other passion is fly fishing, and being of European stock, I actually prefer the colder climate and play in the snow!
    I used to come to Montana for fly fishing vacations, base myself in Bozeman and fish the rivers.
    Then I met my wife in Melbourne, who just happens to be American from New Hampshire, and 4.5 years ago we decided to sell up, pack up and move to Montana. I've even taken the big step and became a US citizen last year, I was a German citizen, never did became an Aussie. My mum still lives in Melbourne.

    mcb

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2014-03-18

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by mcb on Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:33 am

    Nobody will ever be able to accuse you of staying in one place all of your life!

    I also prefer cooler weather to the heat (but I am not volunteering to move to Siberia).

    We have had a long hot (and dry) summer, but I think your mum would have had a tougher time with heat this summer. From what I understand Melbourne had a mean streak of hot days. Thankfully I am not in Adelaide, they had something like 13 days over 40 deg (104 deg F) and a number of those where consecutive.

    denny9167

    Posts : 152
    Join date : 2011-05-09
    Age : 49
    Location : Texas

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by denny9167 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:15 pm

    Here is my preamp build using the hammond chassis with custom front and rear panels from FPE.https://www.dropbox.com/s/xzlofd7pphfxfsh/2014-04-04%2011.52.34.jpg

    audiobill

    Posts : 271
    Join date : 2014-03-13
    Location : Philadelphia

    Re: SP14 Custom Case

    Post by audiobill on Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:53 am

    Nice!! Very professional.

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